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July 5, 2018

BOE recently approved selling three buildings worth more than $1 million for $61,300

In January, the board rejected a $8,100 bid from J&S Property Management, located on the Left Fork of Toler Creek, for the old Allen grade school. Recently, the board approved a $6,200 bid from its former chairman Jeff Stumbo, who lives at Toler Creek, for this school. It appraised for $180,000.In January, the board rejected a $8,100 bid from J&S Property Management, located on the Left Fork of Toler Creek, for the old Allen grade school. Recently, the board approved a $6,200 bid from its former chairman Jeff Stumbo, who lives at Toler Creek, for this school. It appraised for $180,000.

If the Kentucky Department of Education approves actions taken recently by the Floyd County Board of Education, the people who submitted bids to buy surplus district properties will walk away with a huge bargain. The deal doesn’t appear to be as sweet, however, for the school district.

The board recently approved selling three buildings worth more than $1 million for $61,300 — and that price is nearly $52,000 less than the bids the board rejected for the same properties earlier this year.

In January, the board rejected three bids totaling $113,150 from individuals and companies wanting to buy the Osborne Elementary, the old Allen grade school and the old maintenance building in Allen — properties the district declared surplus after the consolidation of schools last year.

In June, the board accepted three bids — two of which were from the same individuals as the rejected bids—and agreed to sell those three properties, instead, for only $61,250.

Collectively, the schools have been appraised for more than $1 million.

The board’s approval is contingent on approval from the Kentucky Department of Education, which was also asked by the board earlier this year to approve the transfer of the former McDowell Elementary School, valued at $975,000 to the Floyd County Fiscal Court.

KDE spokesperson Nancy Rodriguez reported that officials there have not made a decision on the district’s approval to sell these properties or transfer the McDowell property to the county. Superintendent Danny Adkins and Director of Facilities Greg Adams said, however, that the property transfer of the McDowell school property will likely not take place because KDE officials have reported the district cannot give property away. In January, the board rejected a bid for $7,000 on the McDowell school property, as well as bids for the others.

There is a significant difference between the bids rejected by the board in January and those recently approved.

In January, the board rejected a $100,000 bid from Danny Meade and Mike Vanderpool of H&C Construction to buy the former Osborne Elementary. Recently, the board approved Meade’s bid for half that amount: $50,000. This school appraised for $775,000.

In January, the board rejected a $8,100 from J&S Property Management, located on the Left Fork of Toler Creek, for the old Allen grade school. Recently, the board approved a $6,200 bid from its former chairman Jeff Stumbo, who lives at Toler Creek, for this school. It appraised for $180,000.

The bid for the former maintenance building in Allen is the only bid that increased in price since all bids were rejected in January.

In January, the board rejected a $5,050 from John Campbell, a maintenance department technician for this property. This month, the board approved a bid for $50 more from Campbell, agreeing to sell it to him for $5,100. This building appraised for $120,000.

All approvals were contingent on approval from the KDE, and they came with the superintendent’s recommendation. They were approved, without discussion, as part of the consent agenda during a special meeting the board held in June.

When asked why the board would reject the highest bids it received and approve, instead, bids that would provide the district less money, Adkins — who was recently hired as superintendent — said he did not know totals of the prior bids.

He said he recommended the bid approvals to get the district out of the “burden” of costs associated with these empty buildings. He reported selling them will save $200,000 to $300,000 annually.

“I recommended that due to the financial burden of keeping the buildings and the facilities that we go ahead and try to move forward with the sales,” Adkins said.

He does not expect the school district to be able to sell these buildings for their appraised values.

“The coal industry is gone and these properties will never sell for what they were appraised for,” he said.

In April, documents released by the board showed that flood insurance costs were more than $100,000 for McDowell Elementary and several buildings on that property, while property insurance there was around $12,000 for those structures. Other documents released that month showed about $9,800 in other insurance-related charged for Osborne and the buildings in Allen.

Finance Director Matt Wireman estimated on Monday that flood and property insurance costs for these three properties are more than $124,500 annually. He reported that the district’s total cost for property insurance on all properties is $256,000.

Adkins and Adams believe the KDE will be more lenient in determining whether to approve the board’s recent approval of these property sales. Adkins emphasized that the district has followed the law throughout the process.

“It’s very likely they will approve these because we’re paying out so much money in insurance costs,” Adams said.

 

By Mary Meadows
Floyd County Chronicle and Times

 

 

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